Rat problem

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  #1  
Old 03-06-18, 04:27 PM
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Rat problem

A month or so ago I began hearing rodents scurry up in the attic and it got progressively worse. I figured it was just squirrels in the attic or something but about two weeks ago I discovered it's rats. One night it sounded like it was down from the attic and in the bedroom hallway. I get up early for work and sure enough as I walked to the bathroom one morning, I heard what sounded like a dog coming towards me and since we have a dog I figured it was just her. I flicked on the light and a huge rat charged right at me and ran accross my foot.

The next episode was a few nights ago. We have a large cow femur that we bought for the dog to chew on, and one night as my girlfriend slept, this damn rat came into the bedroom and decided to start knawing on the bone, while our dog was in a different room.

It is now a lot worse to the point where I can hear it or them scurrying back and fourth down this same hallway almost every night. I have set out rat poison as well as baited rat traps, one of which in a shoe box in the hallway to try and lure it in. I think I know where he is coming in, behind the washer and drier there is bits of insulation and drywall thrown all over by the holes where the washer water pipes and drain goes.

However, these traps and poison aren't seeming to do anything. I don't even see any droppings around like you normally do with mice.

Does anyone have any tips on how I can catch this stupid thing?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-07-18, 04:07 AM
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Poisons can take awhile to work. I had a rat in my shop about 35 yrs ago and it ate 3 boxes of rat poison before it disappeared. I'm not fond of using poison in a house because if the rat dies in the house and you can't find him his decomposing body can run you out. There is also a concern that pets might ingest the poisoned rat. it might take awhile for the rat to trust the traps - make sure the bait is replaced as needed so it stays somewhat fresh.
 
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Old 03-07-18, 05:30 AM
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First off, be very careful when dealing with rats when pets or children are present. Not only can the dog eat the poison, he could get sick chewing on the rat.

Second, the problem is seldom one rat. Rats can reproduce 6 times a year with 6 rats per litter so your problem can be significant. So, the fact you still have rats doesn't mean the poison's not working. In addition, it can take several days for the poison to work. Look for signs the poison is being eaten and replenish. Also, place the poison everywhere the rat may be but not where your dog can get to it.

Third, most rat poisons marketed today are anti-coagulants. Watch for signs of your dog bleeding such as blood in the stool.
 
  #4  
Old 03-07-18, 06:42 AM
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I'm with Mark, not being fond of poison for the exact reason he mentioned. We've all experienced it, but the worst I had was when a small field mouse got pinned by the carriage inside my printer at the office, and it was bad enough that it took me several days to find the darn thing, but by then it had gotten so bad that I lived with the smell for several more weeks. Don't want that if you can avoid it, so I'm for traps, but you have to be more creative with a dog in the house. And of course they need food and water, but there again, hard to keep them out of it with a dog in the house. So I think that I would focus on restricting their movement, making your domain as difficult an environment as possible for them, i.e. starting with the area you mentioned behind the washing machine and going from there. It may be as easy as some steel wool and wire screen. or maybe a piece of plywood cut to fit around the pipes. You can always go back and finish it the right way as time permits, but for now you want to get it sealed. Other prime avenues are under sinks, around heating lines, gas and utility lines, etc., where the openings for the lines are more often than not well oversized, and nobody goes back and seals them properly.
 
  #5  
Old 03-07-18, 02:26 PM
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Rats are neophobic, meaning they shy away from anything new such as the traps and rodenticide. It may take days until they are comfortable with it, and maybe never if they are finding their food and water reliably elsewhere. Mice would respond much sooner.
It was not unusual at all for us to find a direct connection between pet food and the presence of rodents. Whatever they are eating, do your best to eliminate their food and water source. That may push them to the rodenticide and the traps. Rats need a water source, too.

Place the rodenticide and traps in private, out of the way areas where they will feel less exposed. As others have said, itís likely that there are more rats. Inspect attic carefully for torn up insulation, chewed up cardboard, etc. Set traps in attic for sure.

Set many traps; a dozen wouldnít be too many. Bacon is a strong attractant.

As fro the laundry area, Iíve know of rodents to actually enter through the dryer vent and chew an opening when inside, but behind the machines. Check the exterior area around the vent for runways, burrows, etc. Keep us posted.
 
  #6  
Old 03-07-18, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I'm not even sure what the water source would be... Would they climb onto toilets?

My sump pump has a lid on it so I doubt it'd be that.

Also, I know bacon was mentioned, is that the best bait or are there other things rats really like too?
 
  #7  
Old 03-07-18, 06:55 PM
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Hey guys I actually have an update. So in another room there are drawers and cupboards we rarely use. A while back I had used Tomcat rat and mouse poison pellets in there after seeing many mouse droppings. It worked and no more mice.

Tonight I just so happened to look and see many large rat droppings now in those same drawers, and in fact they chewed into the box and have seemed to eaten a lot of that same poison that I had left over in its packages. Would it be a good idea to place more of that same poison in those drawers if they're used to eating it?

Also, I'd like to clean up the drawers and disinfect obviously but I also don't want to scare away the rats before I have the chance of poisoning or trapping them, would it be a good idea just to wait?

Thanks
 
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Old 03-08-18, 03:39 AM
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I'd replenish the poison if they are eating it ...... and hold off on the cleaning until they quit taking the bait.
 
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Old 03-08-18, 05:56 AM
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As far as water source, I assume that they can get all they want out of the dog's bowl, which is the reason I said earlier that it's harder to keep them out of it with a dog in the house. Same for the dog food. You can seal cabinets, pantries, etc. if you haven't already, but not much you can do with open bowls of dog food and water. And I love dogs by the way, not blaming it or whatever, but that' the reality.
 
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Old 03-08-18, 01:28 PM
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Ya I wondered about the dog bowl too.... Would it be a good idea to dump it at night or will that really stop them?
 
  #11  
Old 03-09-18, 09:01 AM
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Pet food and water is often implicated with rodent problems. If dumping the water is ok with the dog (at night) then do it. Also clean up all crumbs and wash food bowls every night.

Set many traps using different baits. Bacon, lemon drop candy, chocolate, peanut butter, etc. If using peanut butter you should apply butter to cotton and tie onto the trigger with dental floss or string as that makes it much harder to carefully lick it off.

Are they/did they eat the pellets? In other words, did you find crumbs that would indicate chewing? Sometimes rodents will take the pellets away and stash them, as that is their nature. I always like the compressed bait blocks as they tended to eat them as opposed to stashing them. If they are eating the pellets, then go for it. Yes, I would minimize cleaning for now. Let them think that it is business as usual but do minimize all competing food sources so they will be stressed into trying the rodenticide and traps.
 
  #12  
Old 03-10-18, 06:38 PM
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Ok, thanks for the tips everybody
 
  #13  
Old 04-24-18, 08:25 PM
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I'm happy to report that it seems the rats have quit coming inside and we don't hear them at all at night anymore. I found some real good Tomcat brick rat poison in our shop, which is the kind you need a pesticide license to buy. I guess it did the trick.

As for the spots where the droppings are, what is the best way to clean and disinfect the areas?

And after cleaning, should I leave the remainder of the poison bricks? The bricks have been partially eaten.
 
  #14  
Old 04-29-18, 05:27 PM
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I always liked the bait blocks more than any of the other formulations. The newer "soft baits" are accepted by rodents even better and quicker but they are pricey and serious caution must be observed as dogs will eat them like crazy, and they are small and concentrated so they are easy for a dog to quickly consume the entire bag. Rodents will drag them from what was thought to be a good, hidden place with disastrous results.

I would keep fresh blocks in place. Rodents want fresh food, in spite of the stereotypes about rats. Also, even though they are advertised as water resistant, mold free, etc they still get mush when chronically wet, and will get fuzzy from mildew/mold, even from chronic humidity. Sometimes it's hard for us too see it, but the rodents reject it. Keep it fresh and dry as best you can.

I never went to any great trouble for cleaning up droppings and nesting material. In some parts of the country there will be operators who put on tyvek coveralls and booties, and use respirators and shop vacs with hepa filters and spraying disinfectant and sometimes removing all attic insulation. Big money jobs probably done in higher priced areas. I don't want to tell you not to do this, as you could be the one in umpteen chances that gets sick but I never knew anyone that did get sick. Do an internet search on cleaning up rodent droppings and see what you're comfortable with doing and the degree that you want to go to. This product is an example of one that is used. There are others. Nisus is a good company that I've had experience with.
https://www.domyown.com/nisus-dsv-di...CABEgJBwfD_BwE
 
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